Cafe 52’s glass hut will be allowed to remain on Aberdeen’s Green after the Scottish Government overruled local heritage leaders.
The diner installed the structure some time ago, and a row recently erupted when owner Steve Bothwell had to apply for permission to keep it there.
Council historians argued that it looked out of place on the cobbled former marketplace, initially suggesting it should be torn down.
Eventually, a compromise was struck.
Cafe 52 was told it could keep the hut – but just for three years. And then it would have to go.
Mr Bothwell subsequently took the fight to Holyrood, asking government ministers to intervene.
He accused the council of hypocrisy for opposing his modest dining area while constructing a modern £50 million replacement market just yards away.
Why did Cafe 52 appeal to Scottish Government?
The exact wording of the “time-limited consent” granted by the council stated that the “temporary building” would have to be removed from the site by the end of June 2026.
They said the “character and siting of the structure is not such as to warrant its retention on a permanent basis”.
The ruling was deemed to be “in the interests of preserving visual amenity and the character and appearance of the conservation area”.
We revealed last month that Mr Bothwell was appealing the decision.
What did the Scottish Government say about Cafe 52 hut?
Steve Field, a reporter appointed by politicians, has now given his verdict after visiting The Green on November 15.
He wrote: “I consider that the relatively light construction, low profile and and free-standing nature of the pavilion mean that it does not detract from the historic buildings on the north side of The Green.
“I also note that the structure has been in place for four years and could see from my site inspection that it has been well maintained in that time.”
Do you think the Scottish Government made the right call? Let us know in our comments section below
One ruling is not music to Cafe 52’s ears though…
However, Mr Field waved away calls to remove a condition on when music can be played.
Though the hut can remain open from 9am to 11pm, any tunes will have to be switched off by 10pm.
You can see the appeal to the government here.